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By Mary Alice Murphy

In a short in-session special meeting and a longer executive session meeting, Grant County commissioners considered several items and made a decision on one. The executive session would include discussions of the county manager and the county attorney evaluations and their contracts.

At the beginning of the meeting, commissioners had confusion on which version of an agenda should be used. Once that was sorted out, several changes were made and approved to the agenda.

Commissioner Harry Browne asked that an item on evaluation criteria be added to the agenda. It was approved placed before the executive session and the following Roman numerals were changed. Also changed was to put the item: 'Any action necessary aa a result of closed executive session' be taken out of the list of executive session items and added to the open meeting agenda. The Roman numerals were again updated.

Chairman Billy Billings noted that two sets of criteria were provided to the commissioners—one from the County Manager Charlene Webb, who had been evaluated using that set of criteria, and the second, which had been developed by Commissioner Alicia Edwards.

"If I understand, we would use the list from the county manager for this year and spend time this year to create an evaluation for next year," Edwards said. She also suggested appointing two commissioners to a committee to develop the evaluation criteria.

Commissioner Brett Kasten said he believed that the list of duties and responsibilities of the county manager had to be part of the evaluation criteria.

Edwards suggested taking the three documents, the list of duties and responsibilities, the evaluation criteria from the county manager and the one Edwards had developed and "put them together in place before the contract next year."

Kasten said the discussion on the contract should begin about July and the contract should be approved around September or October.

Billings requested the two commissioners with experience, who are the outgoing commissioners, Commissioner Gabriel Ramos and Kasten, to determine if they think anything is missing from the duties and responsibilities. "Any commissioner can give input into this."

Edwards suggested a similar process be put in place for the county attorney contract. "We need a list of duties and responsibilities from the attorney. For the benefit of the public there wasn't a specific process for evaluation for the county manager and county attorney positions, so we are creating the process going forward."

Ramos suggested waiting until the new commissioners are in place in January.

Browne said he, when he first came on the commission, would not have wanted that responsibility so quickly. He said he would prefer that Billings and Edwards, who have already had input into the process, continue work on it.

Kasten said he and Ramos could also have input and "then you can approve it in January, February or March." A motion was approved.

When the commissioners came out of executive session about an hour later, a motion was made to approve a contract extension of one year, including a cost-of-living increase that all employees were receiving, for the county manager.

The meeting adjourned.

The Beat asked about the county attorney, and Kasten said the commissioners had asked for a list of county attorney duties and responsibilities, so an evaluation could be done for the attorney before making a decision on the contract.

The next regular meeting of the Grant County Board of Commissioners will take place in a combined work session and regular meeting at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

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